Former Cisco boss thinks tech leaders are too cocky

John Chambers, who ran Cisco for 20 years, reckons the leaders of tech companies need to dial down the arrogance a bit.

He made the comment to Yahoo Finance in the context of the tech venture capital business he started up since stepping down from Cisco. “I worry about our industry – it’s a tug-of-war between overconfidence, bordering on arrogance, among some of the leaders,” He said. “It’s hard to get that arrogance out of them.”

Chambers’ major issue with this mindset is that arrogance can prevent the people running tech startups from continuing to learn and grow, which makes them less attractive investment prospects. “For the companies I select, if they are arrogant I don’t touch it,” he said. “I have developed a criteria. If the CEO doesn’t want to be coached, if they don’t know what they don’t know, and truly if the chemistry is off, I don’t touch them.”

The VC business is called JC2 Ventures, so named because Chambers runs it with his son. Showing the kind of humility he expects of his fellow tech moguls Chambers named his son after himself and JC2 Ventures apparently has 12 companies in its investment portfolio.

Digital Minister visits Tate Modern instead of figuring out what job actually is

Two days after reshuffling the UK cabinet, key roles are yet to be handed out, but DCMS Minister Michael Ellis still found some time to visit the Tate Modern for Modigliani exhibition.

Previous Minister for Digital Matt Hancock received a promotion, now being the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, essentially in charge of the entire department, though he has a few new names to keep in line. Ellis and Margot James are two new Ministerial entries to the department, though what they will actually do is unknown (at the time of writing).

Whilst the majority of us might be concerned that our job was undefined, such minor details of course do not bother politicians. Especially when there is an opportunity to shake some hands and show off the pearly whites with a photo op. As you can see below, Ellis seems happy with his new remit:

We were curious about who would be taking over the important task of readying the UK for the connected economy, and ensuring the country’s digital credentials don’t continue to slide downwards, so we called the Department’s media team. During the call, we were told decision on who would be leading what aspect of the department has not yet been made, and we should keep an eye out on the DCMS Twitter page for any announcements. This might be this afternoon (January 10), but more likely tomorrow morning.

We did wonder why there was a hold up, but initially assumed it was just a case of the public sector moving at its usual pace. But with Ellis galivanting around London taking in the sites, while the rest of the poor team are slumming it in front of a laptop, the delay is starting to make a bit more sense.

Just so you are aware, the Minister responsible for Digital will oversee the following areas:

  • Broadband and mobile connectivity
  • Broadcasting
  • Creative industries
  • Cyber security
  • Data
  • Digital Charter
  • Digital economy
  • Digital skills and inclusion
  • Digital technology
  • Internet governance
  • Media
  • Online safety
  • Spectrum
  • Telecoms markets and resilience

As you can see, these are all areas which might be considered crucial as the country readies itself for the era of connectivity and internet businesses.

If you do happen to spot Ellis wandering around London’s Southbank this afternoon, feel free to give him a prod and tell him to get back into the office. The London Eye will still be there on Saturday.